Georg Sick, the former CEO and president of Wacker Neuson's executive board, has been appointed CEO of Groupe Mecalac, parent of construction equipment manufacturer Mecalac Ahlmann. The move also sees Mr Sick acquire 25% of privately-owned Mecalac's share capital.

Henri Marchetta, formerly chairman and CEO of Mecalac, will continue as executive chairman and remains the company's main shareholder.

The company said the change in management and shareholding coincided with the launch of a phase of further international expansion and accelerated growth.

"To accelerate the company's development, we will consider organic growth, international expansion and strategic acquisitions," Mr Marchetta said.

Mecalac manufactures wheeled and crawler excavators, wheeled loaders and multi-function machines. It acquired German wheeled loader producer Ahlmann Baumaschinen in 2002 and has two manufacturing plants in France.

Mr Sick's appointment comes after he stepped down from his role at Wacker Neuson. He had been due to leave at the end of 2010, but left earlier than expected to "prepare for his next professional challenge".

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